Speakers on campus mall honor 9/11
On Friday, students gathered together on the campus mall to commemorate Sept. 11.
Robert Trefethren, political science and global studies intern, along with political science professor Andrew Conteh, brought four speakers to talk about the effects and ramifications of Sept. 11.
“People remember 9/11 as a sad story so we wanted to have an event that didn’t focus on the sad part of 9/11 but instead on the educational part of it,” Trefethren said.
Sept. 11 was a day that changed America forever. More than 2,900 individuals from 70 countries were killed. The four speakers, George MacLean, Thomas Ambrosio, Steven P. Long and Greg Lemke, each talked about their specialties.
All speakers provided a unique focus but they all touched on the subject of infringed social liberties. Lemke was a police officer in Fargo on Sept. 11, 2001. He talked about the increase in phone calls reporting suspicious individuals simply because they looked Middle Eastern.
Finding the balance between rights and security is what many people have struggled with since Sept. 11.
“One of the reasons why we must look at this is because the moral justification is tied in with the government-society relations,” MacLean said. “And there is a very important balancing act there: preserving civil liberties but at the same time guarding against political violence.”
The changes from Sept. 11 have been felt across the country.
Conteh said other changes have occurred in air travel, the difficulty in opening new bank accounts and the establishment of the Patriot Act.
“They (the changes) are here to stay,” Conteh pointed out in a separate interview.
Students were also affected, as many can remember where they were when the attacks occurred.
“I was in fourth grade, and my teacher turned the TV on,” remembered sophomore Cassie Shorma. “I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know why it was such a big deal. I remember when I got home that day my mom was really worried, and I didn’t understand why. … She wanted me to stay home the rest of the day. … My teacher or mom didn’t exactly know how to tell me.”
The story is similar for a lot of MSUM’s students, because many students were in elementary or junior high when the attack occurred but can still remember specific details.
International students have felt the effects of Sept. 11 as well. Conteh pointed out that international students are now scrutinized before they can ever get a visa. When sophomore Emmanuel Low from Singapore applied to get his visa from the U.S. Embassy, he had to submit his documents and do an interview, answering questions about his desire to visit the country and why he wants to study in the United States rather than Singapore.
These international students also provide a unique take on the attacks.
“It affected the whole world,” said senior Anup Adhikari, an international student from Nepal.
“Like traveling, daily lifestyles, the perspective on the different Middle East countries … as a whole international society it rose the question of doubt as there was no more trust between them (countries).”
A decade after the events of Sept. 11, the effects can be felt just as strongly as the day they occurred. Andrew Pederson, a sophomore, captured what most people thought after they heard the news on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I was pretty young. I was in seventh grade,” Pederson remembered.
“We thought it was a small plane that had an accident. Eventually the teacher said, ‘America will never be the same,’ as she turned off the TV and walked away once the first tower went down.”
BY ANDREW JASON